Teenagers and Acne: The Role of the Pharmacist

Joshua J. Pray, Pharm.D. Candidate, W.Steven Pray, Ph.D., R.Ph.

US Pharmacist. 2003;28(6) 

In This Article

Categorizing Acne

Dermatologists have several methods for grading the severity of acne. One method relies on the type, number, and location of lesions and the presence of scarring. The pharmacist can use the method as a resource in determining whether the patient can self-treat or requires a referral to a physician or dermatologist:

This patient has only comedones, with fewer than 10 lesions on the face, no lesions on the trunk, and no visible scarring. This type is mild enough that it may respond to nonprescription self-care products such as keratolytics, which make the follicular cells less cohesive.

This patient has papules, 10 to 25 lesions on the face and trunk, and mild scarring and should be referred.

A patient who has type 3 acne has pustules, more than 25 lesions, and moderate scarring. He or she should be referred.

This patient has extensive scarring and nodules or cysts and also requires referral.

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